EMERGENCY services joined forces for a live emergency training exercise in the Vale over the weekend.

On Saturday (June 26) South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS) coordinated a live emergency training exercise at Barry Rail depot.

Emergency Service personnel took part in the exercise over six hours which aimed to challenge responders, giving them real-time experience. The vehicles involved were non-operational and the crews are all off duty.

With more than 120 firefighters and 17 fire service vehicles alongside partner organisations the mock incident simulated a collision of a passenger and freight train at a level crossing.

The complexity of the training saw fire service crews undertaking firefighting, search and rescue and numerous vehicle rescues including a rescue from underneath a train. Crews conducted heavy lifting of a cargo wagon to release a trapped casualty alongside a hazardous substance spill.

The exercise included partners from South Wales Police, NHS Wales HART and EMRTs, Network Rail, Urban Search and Rescue Wales, DWR Cymru, Salvation Army and National Resources Wales.

A spokesman for the fire service said: “Together the exercise tested emergency response procedures, improved firefighting and technical rescue skills with the benefit of developing joint partnership working principles.

“Practical training sessions for emergency services are crucial to ensure they are well-equipped to respond to a wide range of emergencies.”

This was one of the largest training exercises that emergency services have been able to take part in since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

HART Training Manager at the Welsh Ambulance Service, Giles Hodges, said: “We recently took part in a multi-agency major incident training exercise simulating a train crash near Barry.

“It was one of the largest exercises of this nature that we have been able to take part in since the beginning of the pandemic and the outcome has been overwhelmingly positive.

“These exercises are an opportunity to come together, work together and ultimately learn and improve together to be able to respond better when these incidents happen. It has been a pleasure to work with all partners involved.”

A spokesman for South Wales Police added: “It was an excellent opportunity to test multiagency working principles in responding to an emergency.”